It was very much a case of what could have been at the sixth round of the GP2 Championship, as Jimmy Eriksson put in a stellar performance in both the Feature race and Sprint race at the Hungaroring.
Despite a difficult Qualifying session, the Swedish driver made a superb start from twentieth to eighteen. Starting on the prime hard Pirelli tyre, he ran long, with his pace ever improving, posting a fastest lap time over half way through the race (Lap 23, Time: 1:30.030). Jimmy managed to build a thirteen second lead before pitting on lap 33 of 36, with a smooth pit stop, the Swede came out eighth, heading for a points finish and a front row start for Race two. The demon of bad luck reared its head once again, as on the last lap, the fuel pressure sensor failed and his Arden machine came to a halt. Team-mate Nabil had no better luck as he started 21st he made little improvement during the 60minute race to finish 20th. The Malaysian struggled all weekend with a cold and fever.
Knowing that the pace was certainly there from Jimmy outstanding performance in race one, the team were hoping for a more successful race two. Another fantastic start from Jimmy from twenty first to eleventh certainly set the team up for a hopeful points finish. However, half way through the sprint race Jimmy was forced to retire due to drive train gremlins. It was another disappointing end to a race which has showed both Jimmy and the team had good pace. Nabil also had a great start from 20th to fourteenth by the end of the first lap, but he was struggling with a virus and was unable to give the race his full potential, finishing sixteenth.
“What happened in the first race is every driver’s nightmare. It was my best race so far in GP2 and I was half a lap from Sunday pole, and instead it came to nothing. At the same time, it was a relief to prove what we’re actually capable of when I get it right. We know from before that we have strong race pace, but I think this weekend allowed others to see that as well. In that way, it was a very positive race.”
“The second race got off to a good start. I was saving my tyres and had a lot more in reserve, but then unfortunately we had a failure and I had to park it up. We got nothing out of this weekend when in fact we had the pace to score plenty of points, but that’s motor racing. The car has felt better here than it’s ever done earlier this season, so we have reason to be optimistic going forward.”